The Startup Nation of today didn’t succeed in every venture, and a recent film release shares such a failure. The documentary shares about Susita, an Israeli-made automobile from the 1960s. The venture was founded by Yitzchak Shubinksy, who excelled in business and lacked integrity, yet brought the first manufactured cars to Israel. Importing British parts, using DIY Israeli mentality to put them together, and backed by government investment, the Susita was born.
The car company called Autocars Co. Ltd sold thousands of Susita cars per year, mostly purchased by the government and the army itself, at discounted prices. Yet the Susita wasn’t known for its quality, often crashing, falling apart, or being eaten by camels. Eventually, a court case was made against Shubinsky, for his corruption, poor car making, and fatal product.
The story shares about the construction of the car, yet also gives insight to Israel’s early business ways, and the Israeli politics wrapped into it. While the government is what allowed the company to run for almost two decades, eventually the fraud also led to its destruction. Shubinsky was indicted for his corrupted ways, yet the case was exonerated. The story comes full circle when Shubinsky died in his dear Susita after it crashed into a tree.
The movie is made by Avi Weissblei, who is also known for showcasing various Israeli archival history of scandals, such as Arlosorov’s assassination and the Declaration of Independence.